FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The Fort St. John Literacy Society held its annual spelling bee on Saturday, with registration seeing a big increase over last year.
Last year’s spelling bee saw just 15 students participate, but that number jumped to 78 participants from around the North Peace this year.
First place contestants in each age group ended up taking home a prize of $100, along with trophies and medals.
CM Finch student Roy Kim ended up placing first among Grade 1 students to open the spelling bee, while Cooper Haggstrom – who is homeschooled – placed second.
In the combined Grades 2/3 group, Bert Ambrose student Maximus Willams ended up taking home the top prize, while Paige Umbach placed 2nd.
After the second group of students competed, six members of the local media from Moose FM, the Alaska Highway News, and Bell Media competed to find out which of them relied the least on spell-check at work. After the judges threw several curveballs at the hapless broadcasters and journalists, it was CJDC-TV News Director Hugh Smith who ended up winning the media challenge.
The two older age groups were dominated by students from Christian Life School. Literacy Society executive director Jessica Kalman said that the school held its own spelling bee before the event at the Lido Theatre over the weekend.
Abigail Krafczyk placed first amongst Grades 4/5 students, followed by her classmate Irina Fendel. After a back-and-forth match-up that lasted close to 45 minutes, Dennis Fendel ended up winning the Grades 6/7 age group, beating Jaden Meyer.